Hoyden Mailbag: Good News and Bad News

Today’s Hoyden Mailbag consists of two articles from the local weekly paper.

A while back, I talked about playgrounds that are inaccessible to parents. The problem of playgrounds inaccessible to children is, of course, huge. Today I found that the council next to ours has just opened an accessible playground. Click on the image to see the full article (text is below).


A whole new world of fun and excitement has opened up for Landsdale’s Mitchell de Bettencor, following the opening of the City of Wanneroo’s new Innovative Children’s Playspace.

The 13-year-old who has Cerebral Palsy was once restricted from many play activities other children his age enjoy, but now the Innovative Children’s Playspace is his oyster.

To a child, playing every day is as vital as breakfast. Not only is it essential for their physical and social development, but it opens their world to new experiences, gives them a chance to explore their environment, create imaginary scenarios, and the opportunity to express themselves freely.

All children deserve to experience play rather than sit back and watch. The new City of Wanneroo Innovative Children’s Playspace, situated in Rotary Park on Scenic Drive in Wanneroo, provides the perfect platform for all children to experience playtime.

Designed by Australia’s leading playspace architect, Mary Jeavons Landscape Architects, the playspace features innovative universal access play equipment that is suitable for children of all ages and abilities. There is a wheelchair accessible treetop walk with viewing and play platforms, themed play modules, swings, slides, a cubby house, space net, climbing frames and a liberty swing. For the whole family there are picnic shelters, BBQ facilities and expansive grassed areas for sporting activities.

Mitchell’s mum Sharyn de Bettencor said she was “thrilled” the Innovative Children’s Playspace had opened. “Mitchell does not have access to normal play opportunities that most children have,” Ms de Bettercor said. “There’s nothing worse than sitting around watching other people’s children have fun and your child not being able to join in. Playspaces like this one give Mitchell the chance to have fun like other children. Children with disabilities are just kids and the end of the day and they want to have fun no matter how difficult their lives are. It’s also a perfect opportunity for other children to learn that children with special needs also like to play and have fun.”

Mayor Jon Kelly said the Innovative Children’s Playspace is a valuable investment for all children’s development because it provides an environments where they can develop their physical and social skills while interacting with other children of various ages and abilities.

“The City of Wanneroo is committed to building inclusive and connected communities. This is just on of the ways we are ensuring that the needs of people with disabilities are met.”

The provision of the Innovative Children’s Playspace supports the City’s Access and Inclusion Plan 2007-2010, which is focused on improving local services to ensure that people with disabilities have equal access to life’s opportunities in the community.

And the bad news? After feeling a warm glow from that piece, I turned the page and saw this.


Win tickets to The House Bunny

Shelley is living a carefree life until she gets tossed out of the Playboy Mansion. With nowhere to go, fate delivers her into the lives of a group of socially challenged university girls, who will lose their campus house if they can’t attract new members. Shelley needs to pull out all her playmate tricks to give them a crash course in the ways of makeup and men, in the process learning that she needs some of what the girls have – a sense of individuality. When sexy meets smart they all learn to stop pretending and start being themselves.

Gag me with a fucking spoon.

Categories: gender & feminism, media

Tags: , ,

2 replies

  1. The largest park near us is in the process of creating an “all abilities” playground, which certainly looks marvellous in the artists’ impressions. It is sited next to the flattest area of the carpark and should be reasonably accessible to disabled parents. It’s taking them forever though!
    As to House Bunny, I’m having a flashback to a particularly appalling episode of the Love Boat, where an astrophysicist (or similar) pretended she was an airhead so as to attract a studly dude (who would obviously have been put off by her naturally bookish self), then later, when he was about to dump her for her lack of smarts despite being gorgeous, she reeled off a string of numbers about the moon and he decided that he trooly lurved her after all.
    The synopsis strikes me as at about that level of “sexy meets smart” plotting. Perhaps it’s all gloriously subversive, but I’m not betting on it.

  2. The House Bunny opened in the US a few weeks ago–it’s not subversive, it got mostly horrible reviews, and it was produced by Adam Sandler’s production company, which pretty much says it all. I’ll probably never see it unless I’m interested in torturing myself, but if it doesn’t pass the Bechdel test with as many female characters as it has…well, then the people writing it are even more idiotic than I previously thought.

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